The Drinking & Writing Festival | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Drinking & Writing Festival 

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The literary pub crawl Drinking & Writing shows no sign of slowing down. Devised by Neo-Futurists Sean Benjamin, Steve Mosqueda, and Diana Slickman in 2002, this free-form love letter to the union of liquor and language has hopped from bar to bar in Chicago and beyond, spawned a radio show on WLUW, and had a successful run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Now going on year four, Benjamin and Mosqueda have ordered up a celebratory round: the daylong Drinking & Writing Festival, to be hosted by the Hopleaf. Excerpted "portraits" of pickled prodigies from Dorothy Parker to Faulkner from the show's several editions are featured at the top of each hour from 2 PM until 6 PM. In between there'll be tastings of home brews and other handcrafted beers, "beer school" with Rock Bottom brewmaster Pete Crowley and Hopleaf owner Michael Roper, belly dancing, a book sale, and music from the Old Town School of Folk Music folks. Other attractions include a discussion of Kerouac and Algren led by NU prof Bill Savage, a "two-drink minimum" writing contest (whose first prize is the winner's weight in beer--bottles included, drunky!), and a performance of three ten-minute radio plays around the corner at the Neo-Futurarium directed by bar-stool prophet par excellence Nick Digilio. The thoughtful but well-lubricated proceedings should provide some respite from the macro madness of Andersonville Midsommarfest, brewing simultaneously--or at least a civilized place to get good and warmed up for it. Sat 6/11, 2 PM-7 PM. Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark, 773-793-9408. Radio play performance 8 PM, Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland. Tickets for activities at both the Hopleaf and the Neo-Futurarium are $15 in advance (for sale at www.drinkingandwriting.com or the Hopleaf) or $20 at the door (includes beer samples and performance, 21+); tickets for the 8 PM performance only are $5.

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